Just over two months ago, I took a stab at how I thought the 53 man roster was going to look for the Houston Texans after they completed the draft. Now with camp approaching I wanted to take another look at the possible players to make the final cuts, based on gut feelings and impressions made during offseason training programs.
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The only change here is that I placed Hoyer ahead of Mallett. I have made no apologies for my stance that Hoyer is not the answer, but my gut feeling is that the team thinks much higher of him than I do.
Running Back (3)
These three spots stay the same, and the reason I have Hilliard ahead of Chris Polk is because I believe Houston wants a guy similar to the mold of Blue and Foster in that he can carry the load. Hilliard is a good first and second down back, and Polk’s best chance to make the team is as a returner, however I have him losing that job here.
A solid starter at one of the least glamorized positions on the team.
Wide Receiver (6)
Cecil Shorts III
There are changes here as I have both Keshawn Martin and Damaris Johnson failing to make the team. Mumphery replaces one as his impressive work in the offseason makes Johnson expendable. Martin was only average as a return man, so the team goes with the undrafted kid in Worthy to fill that void while looking for a spark on special teams.
Tight End (3)
I have Ryan Griffin losing his job to the undrafted McFarland here simply because I think the team again looks for some upside. McFarland may not be better than Griffin now, but his ceiling is higher making him more desirable as the third tight end.
Offensive Line (9)
I will admit, this is a shot in the dark as far as the back up players are concerned because Houston is super thin here. I had the veteran Tyson Clabo going before, but he was cut, leaving almost no experience on the bench. Players like Mancz and Quessenberry have some versatility as does White which is why I picked them. This could be the hardest spot to predict.
Defensive line (7)
Louis Nix III
Covington may not be ready to start the season, so it could be someone else there when the year starts, or they may go with six here until he is healthy. Deaderick and Pagan have the size to play all along the line so they offer a lot of flexibility.
Outside linebacker (5)
Tony Washington Jr. misses the cut here as Cliett takes the final spot and I believe Trail has too much upside to let go of. Simon will be the only back up with any experience at all, but coach Bill O’Brien has no problem going with youth.
Inside linebacker (4)
Houston recently re-signed Akeem Dent, but barring an injury I don’t see him making the roster. Instead they keep guys like Tuggle and Mohamed who have more flexibility and size.
Interesting to see only four corners here? The team can keep an extra on the practice squad in case of an injury, but the flexibility of one of their safeties (who recently converted from corner) helps them to go thinner in the secondary and not lose anything on game day.
Hal is the guy allowing for flexibility here. On game day he takes up one spot on the 46 man roster but can play safety or corner, his original position. Brown and Moore start with Ballentine and undrafted rookie Drummond the primary choices as back ups.
Special Teams (3)
Jon Weeks (LS)
Weeks has no competition for his job as the long snapper and neither do the kickers for this team. Lechler will sit back while a rookie kicks in preseason, but that will simply be to rest his leg.Bullock had a good season last year and shouldn’t be in danger of losing his job anytime soon.